You knew it could not go away this quietly. Tattoo gate is alive and still well in Columbus Ohio. According to Yahoo Sports, Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was informed that some of his players had sold memorabilia to the owner of a tattoo parlor more than eight months before the school said it was made aware of improper transactions.

Yahoo Sports, citing an unidentified source (shocker, when is the last time anyone reported their source in a scandalous story?), reports Tressel received information as early as April 2010 that players were selling items to Edward Rife, who owns Fine Line Ink Tattoos in Columbus.

Ohio State officials did not immediately respond to a requests for comment by the AP. – Again a big shocker here. They need to back pedal or more importantly call in Tressel this morning.

Ohio State Athletic Dept – So ummmmm Jim. You knew about the tattoo stuff way back in April last year???

The Vest – I cannot confirm nor deny that rumor.

OSAD – But Yahoo! Sports is claiming that you knew about this much earlier than you previously told us and we were only alerted by the US Attorney’s office last December. The NCAA who loves the Big Ten more than, well Dan Bebee loves Texas went kid gloves on us. They even allowed us to make a deal to let the guys all play in a bowl game but they had to cross their fingers and toes and “promise” to come back and play for us next year and not go professional or anything like that.

The Vest – Yeah I did not know anything earlier, I promise “wink wink, nod nod”

If it does come out that Tressel, or anyone at thuh Ohio State for that matter, had any knowledge or knew anything prior to this date in December, the punishment should be swift and fierce. Including ruling all players ineligible for the remainder of their college days as well as loss of scholarships, suspensions of coaches etc.

The NCAA is walking a fine line here. They essentially bust Cam Newton for one day, but then take off the gloves and do nothing. The Reggie Bush sage lasted 5 years but at least the penalties were harsh.

The NCAA needs to set an example that cheating, or breaking rules, in any way shape or form will not be tolerated whatsoever. Period end of Story.

Isn’t a school which calls itself “Thee” already laying the impetus for a crashing fall from grace due to improprieties. Or does the entire university, just like those players that trades gifts for ink fell that they are above the law in little Columbus, Ohio. It is amazing that the normally un-reserved Buckeye fans have been so quiet.

Nice job Bunkeyes. Nothing like tarnishing your program for the next decade or so if any more of this turns out to be true. And all over a bunch of tattoos that you are going to look at when you are in your 50’s and wonder ‘what the heck was I thinking”

At least your conference landed Nebraska, maybe that will turn away the problems for awhile.

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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